It’s that time of the year again, daylight saving time!
While we all love an extra hour of sleep, daylight saving is also the perfect bi-annual reminder to tackle that home maintenance to-do list and get your home ready for the colder months ahead.
These necessary tasks aren’t always the most fun, but they’re absolutely worth it! They can help you declutter, get organized for the winter season, and even prevent long-term damage to your home.
With that said, we’ve highlighted 8 tasks to help ensure a smooth and painless transition from fall to winter!
#1: Change Those Clocks!
As of Sunday, November 3rd at 2:00am, you’ll need to change your clocks back an hour.
This might seem obvious, but it’s something a lot of us forget to do – especially when it comes to those pesky manual clocks!
These days, most cellphones and automatic clocks will change on their own, but battery-operated clocks and small appliance clocks still need to be changed manually.
You can easily knock this one off your list, and get those clocks synced!
#2: Do Some Fall Cleaning
It’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and get organized with a fall cleanup!
While this (sadly) means storing away your shorts and swimsuits, and bringing out the wooly turtlenecks, it will also help you feel better prepared for the colder months ahead.
When doing your fall cleanup, the best place to start is the kitchen: scrub the oven, clean out the fridge/pantry, and declutter your cabinets.
It’s also a good time to go through your closet and donate any items that you haven’t worn in a while to your local charity.
#3: Replace Your Filters
As winter approaches, it’s definitely a good time to change the filters in your home, including your furnace, air conditioner, dryer, humidifier, and vacuum cleaner!
Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and can cause your appliances to run less efficiently. Moreover, dirty filters can also be a fire hazard – especially in the case of furnaces and dryers.
Another hazard of dirty filters is toxic indoor air. As your furnace tries to push air out through the filter and into the air ducts, it will take some of that trapped debris with it, pushing that back out into your air supply.
So get those filters changed and enjoy some warm, clean, dust-free air!
Pro tip: Stock up on filters and store them in a cool, dry place so you can quickly change them the moment they need to be changed.
#4: Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters certainly isn’t fun, but do you know what’s even less fun? Cleaning them in the dead of winter!
With snow already in the forecast in cities across the U.S., it’s a good idea to get a jump start on those dirty gutters and clean out any debris before it freezes.
When your gutters become clogged, water can’t divert away from your home and will instead spill over. This could lead to a number of different issues like foundation damage, structural issues, mold and mildew, and even and basement flooding.
Worried about flooding this winter? Notion’s water leak detector is the best and most reliable way to catch water leaks before they turn into a problem.
Here’s the good news: cleaning your gutters is usually pretty easy to do!
All you need is a ladder, a bucket for the leaves and debris you pull out, and some heavy duty gloves to protect your hands while you’re working.
Another option is to hire a professional gutter cleaner, which can cost between $110-$185.
Pro tip: When it comes to cleaning your gutters, timing is everything! It’s important to take care of it before snow rolls in, but you should also wait until all the leaves around your home have fallen. Otherwise, you may have to do the job twice!
Need a few more fall cleaning tips? Check out our guide on how to prepare your house for the winter!
#5: Check Your Furnace and Water Heater
No one wants a furnace to breakdown in the winter! But it can happen if you don’t schedule an annual furnace tune-up.
With the colder weather rolling in, daylight saving is the perfect reminder that winter is coming and that it’s time to get ready to heat your home.
If you’re new to furnace tune-ups, they’re done by an HVAC professional who cleans and inspects your furnace to nip any small problems in the bud before they into something more serious.
Keep in mind that while many furnaces need annual maintenance, some don’t. So it’s best to check with an HVAC professional to help you understand how often you should have your furnace and water heater inspected.
It’s also important to remember that a broken water heater can cause leaking and expensive water damage to your home. That’s why we recommend installing a Notion wireless water detector near your hot water heater to detect leaks.
#6: Seal Air Leaks
It’s time to check the windows, doors, and any cracks in the foundation for air leaks or “drafts.”
Air leaks aren’t just annoying and expensive for your energy bill – they can also decrease the value of your home. According to All Season Inspection, poor attic and window insulation can cause the value of your home to decrease by as much as 15%!
With the weather still fairly mild, there’s no better time to spend some time outdoors finding and filling any air leaks with either spray foam, caulk, or weather stripping.
When looking for air leaks, you should inspect the attic hatch, wiring holes, outlets, plumbing vents, windows, doors, and most importantly, the basement.
The most common source of air leaks is the basement along the top wall where the cement comes in contact with the wood frame. For those of you with unfinished basements, this is definitely an important place to check.
Overall, finding air leaks can be pretty challenging, so you may want to check out Energy Star’s useful DIY guide on sealing and insulating.
#7: Check Your Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Did you know that most smoke and carbon monoxide alarms operate for about 6 months on a battery? This makes daylight saving time is the perfect reminder to change the batteries!
Home fires occur more in the winter than any other season, and heating equipment, holiday decorations, winter storms, and candles are all major culprits. To help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide and electrical fires, it’s so important to spend a few minutes to check your alarms and replace the batteries if needed.
When changing the batteries of your alarms, most products will require a brand new lithium 9-volt battery as a replacement. Make sure that the male and female terminals are oriented properly and connected with the base.
Most smoke alarms have a light that indicates the unit is receiving power. However, you can (and should) still use the test button to ensure that the alarm will sound properly.
Press and hold the test button on the smoke alarm. It might take a few seconds, but a loud, ear-piercing alarm should sound.
If the sound is weak or nonexistent, you may need to replace the batteries or smoke alarm itself.
If you’re looking for that extra bit of peace of mind, you should also consider placing a Notion Sensor by your smoke alarms so you can know when they’re going off even while you’re away.
As soon as the Notion wireless sensors hear your smoke alarms sounding, you’ll get a notification sent to your smartphone so you can take action.
#8: Restock Emergency Kits
Everyone should have some sort of emergency kit in their home with first-aid supplies, water, and non-perishable foods.
These can be very useful in helping you and your family feel prepared in the event of an emergency.
If you don’t have one, get one! If you do have one, it’s a good idea to check on the supplies in case anything is outdated and needs to be replaced.
Daylight saving is a great reminder to sort through your emergency supplies to identify any supplies that have expired or need to be replenished, and possibly what type of seasonal supplies you’ll need to add.
If you’re looking for more tips for preparing for emergencies, check out our guide on how to create a family emergency plan!
Thanks for reading! We hope this list will help smooth your transition to winter and help you feel more prepared in the colder months!